This last week I spent 3 days at Girls Camp. I love Girls Camp. Girls Camp is part of our church's program for teenage girls, and each ward (congregation) is encouraged to hold girls camp once a year. There are camp manuals with various camping/outdoor skills the girls need to learn and pass off each year they attend. For some girls this is review of things their families do, but for some this camp is their main outdoor activity for the year and only opportunity to pick up valuable survival skills.
This year we took our group of girls (all 19 of them) up the mountain and camped with four other local congregations (called a "stake"). The girls were girls, the food was fantastic (we had a couple of award winning dutch oven ladies cook for us), and the weather was pretty cooperative--only rained a little bit during the days and the whole last night (nothing like packing up wet gear just to have to take it home and set it all back up to dry).
There was a hilarious game to test the girls on their first aid skills like how to treat for shock, bleeding, choking, burns, poisoning, etc. One of the leaders had made darts with rubber bands and black pipe insulation. Each dart had the name of an injury on it. Each team was given some darts and some triangular bandages and we shot the darts at the other team. If you got hit with a dart, your teammates had to treat you for the injury that was written on the dart. Now, I don't know about you, but I love shooting stuff, even foam pipe insulation darts, so this was WAY too much fun. You can kind of see the darts on the ground in the picture. Sorry, no pictures of the actual game, I was too busy getting shot at!
The girls also had to sleep in tents, carve with pocket knives, cook food using various methods, light a fire without matches, learn basic outdoor sanitation for themselves and their food, climb across a rope bridge and do some canoeing. I do not love girls camp for the not so relaxing experience of doing activities all day for a group of teen girls with all the drama that entails, but I love girls camp for the experiences it gives them. Heck, I still remember stuff I learned when I went to girls camp as a teenager. I love Girls Camp. So here's your homework assignment. If you can't go to Girls Camp, at least take your family camping and spend a little time while you're out there learning and teaching outdoor survival skills. Your family will thank you later for it.